Kits

Reviews of scale model kits.

Sherman M4A2

Published: December 15th, 2019     
Sherman M4A2
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Scale: 1/76
Company: Airfix

For a long time, Airfix has continued the tradition of reboxing their older kits from their 1/76 scale line. Since this is a reissue, despite the newer box with red highlights, this Sherman M4A2 comes from a mold that is pushing 60 years old (and it shows). The kit includes rubber band tracks and a couple of sprues. Given the age of the mold, the parts are in okay conditions, though there is flash. Certainly, the parts are not as crisp as in a new kit, but they are adequate. When you compare this Sherman with newer kits, the details are soft.  I can only assume that the vehicles depicted through the decals are new to this reissue.  

LVTH6A1 Fire Support Vehicle Cannon Teal

Published: December 11th, 2019     
LVTH6A1 Fire Support Vehicle Cannon Teal
Reviewed by: Ron Verburg, IPMS# 45660
Scale: 1/35
Company: AFV Club

History

At the end of WW2 Industries within the US were encouraged to design more sophisticated military equipment based on experiences gained during the war.

The US Navy Bureau of Ships invited multiple civilian engineering firms to submit proposals for a new tracked landing vehicle (LVT). The Borg Warner Company submitted a design for a new LVT. The prototype was completed in August of 1951. It's large box like structure could transport 34 fully equipped infantry and possessed excellent seaworthiness. The vehicle was designated the LVTP5. Developed concurrently with the LVTP5 was the LVTH6, the support version armed with a turreted 105mm 24L Howitzer. The LVTH6 entered service in 1957 with 210 units produced.

Kit

The kit is produced by AFV Club, a well-known model company. The box art work in outstanding! The scene depicts marines landing on a pacific island beach.

F6F-5 Hellcat, Part 2

Published: December 8th, 2019     
F6F-5 Hellcat, Part 2
Reviewed by: Jarrod Booth, IPMS# 44739
Scale: 1/24
Company: Airfix

With the major fuselage and wing assemblies completed in Part 1, I continued on with Part 2 of the 1/24 Airfix Hellcat F6F-5 build.

The tail planes, elevators, rudder and ailerons with their respective, movable, trim tabs were glued together with minimal problems. Make sure the elevator hinges are inserted the correct way... I got it wrong...twice!!! Luckily, the glue was still wet so I could pry the elevators open and correct my mistake....twice!!!! The instructions clearly show the correct way to install these.

I also assembled the inboard and outboard flap sections, but, left them off the wings until later. The left outboard wing flap top half was badly warped (see pictures). I used a hair dryer to heat and bend it back to shape with limited success. I ended up gluing the top and bottom together and clamping the flap to a flat wooden dowel, which did the trick!

The center wing assembly and fuselage were brought together resulting in a pretty good fit. I ran a bead of putty along the wing roots to eliminate a very small gap. The tail planes followed and fit securely. Putty filled thin gaps in the seam lines.

Messerschmitt P-1103

Published: December 7th, 2019     
Messerschmitt P-1103
Reviewed by: Jason Holt, IPMS# 40139
Scale: 1/48
Company: Brengun

History

So the Messerschmitt Me P.1103 was designed in 1944as rocket-powered short-range interceptor. There were two variants proposed, the P-1103-I in which the pilot controlled the aircraft in a prone belly position, whereas the P-1103-II is where the pilot is in a seated position. The construction of the aircraft was kept simple due to the lack of available metals so it was constructed of wood.

The deployment of the simple interceptor was that it was to be towed to altitude by a Bf 109G or Me 262. When the desired altitude was achieved the aircraft would detach the tow cable in which it would then ignite a single liquid-fueled RI 202 rocket engine for a dash attack. It was armed with a single Mk108 30mm cannon which was located directly under the pilo'ts seat. After the attack was completed the aircraft would glide to a safe landing area in which it would land on a retractable ski, similar to a Me-163 would land. The aircraft would then be refueled and rearmed ready for the next sortie.

Unfortunately the P-1103 never went into production as it lost out to the Ba-349 'Natter'.

MA-1A Start Cart

Published: December 7th, 2019     
MA-1A Start Cart
Reviewed by: Damon Blair, IPMS# 49062
Scale: 1/32
Company: CMK

The MA-1A Start Cart (also referred to as a "Huffer") was used by the United States Air Force as an auxiliary jet engine providing a source of high pressure, high volume air (called bleed air) to start aircraft without starters, and to start aircraft that have inoperative starters. The F-4, A-4, T-38, F-104, and A-7, just to name a few, had to be started using this cart. I have used the MA-1A many times to both start the above aircraft, and to troubleshoot/operationally check the bleed air system on the C-130 aircraft.

The kit comes with 17 resin parts and 10 photoetched parts, with molding in crisp detail. I found no fit problems with the parts, and the kit went together fairly quickly. Be careful with part number 2 with its long "tongue" at the top - I accidentally broke mine but was able to easily repair it. The body of the cart is molded in one piece.